Welcome episode 3 of UNLOCKING THE MIND BEHIND
Barnum Effect – The tendency for people to accept generalized personality descriptions as accurate descriptions of their own unique personality. It is amazing how the human mind works. Why we make certain decisions and how we build relationships. That’s why I decided to start this new series where I will be sharing Psychological biases, effects, and traps so that we can better understand why we make certain decisions, how to protect ourselves from these traps, and how we can use this understanding to better ourselves. I look forward every week on Tuesday to share a concept with you and look forward to adding more and more value to you all!
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Welcome to another episode of Unlocking the Mind behind Make More, Work Less. Hi, my name is Fong Chua I’m an entrepreneur, business strategist, real estate investor, speaker and also a best selling author. Every day I have the opportunity to help others unlock their potentials and guide them to succeed. So for today’s episode on Unlocking the Mind behind Make More Work Less, where we talk about different psychology, term effects and biases that affect how us as humans make decisions or how we react to certain things, how we can do better in building relationships, how to do business better because it all has to do with the mind
And as we know more about these biases and more of these effects, and we’re able to either avoid it or use it to our advantage. So to introduce our new topic for today, I’m going to ask you all to stare at this little guy right here, stare at it for five seconds, and I will tell you what I think you are. Five, four, three, two, one.
OK, so I’m going tell you five things that I believe you are. If you can jot down on a piece of paper and say whether it’s true or false, and then this is who I think you are. So the first thing I think you are is you are a person who has a considerable amount of unused capacity that you have not yet turned into your advantage. Again, you are somebody who has a lot of capacity, but you have not turned it into your advantage.
Number two, sometimes you have serious doubts whether you have made the right decisions or have done the right thing. Number two, sometimes you think about whether or not you have doubts on doing the right thing or making the right decisions. Number three, deep down, you know your self-worth, but you have a tendency to be too critical of yourself. So, number three, deep down, you know your self-worth, but you have a tendency to be very critical of yourself.
Number four, you have often had great ideas that you just have never had the motivation to follow through on number four. You always had great ideas, but you just never had the motivation to move forward on.
And number five, you are a very independent thinker. You like to check out claims for yourself before you believe what somebody else tells you. So, again, number five, you are an independent thinker. You would like to check out the claims before you believe somebody else’s comments or your stories of what they tell. So out of the five, how many of those are. Two, three, four or five. Well, that’s exactly what happens when it comes to the Barnham effect and it’s also known as the fourth effect, and this is the tendency for people to accept generalized personality descriptions as accurate descriptions of their own unique personality.
So this is the whole reason why fortune tellers and fortune cookies and astrology and horoscopes work so well because they’re able to give you something, general. They’re able to give something that’s vague and something that it’s very desirable. And people go, you know what? That relates to me? That’s who I am. And the beauty about how this stuff works is the fact that it’s always vague, it’s a characteristic or a quality that people desire. And it’s also true.
Now, when you have something that you feel is true to yourself and you hear it, you go, oh, yeah, that’s me. That’s me for sure. And this is all about the bottom of it. That’s why certain things work the way they work, because people say certain things and you go, you know what? That’s me. I can relate to that. And therefore I can trust this person. I can make a decision and I teach them.
But now that we know that the bottom is in play, a lot of situations, you may have to take a step back and consider maybe this is just an overall generalized statement. Now, in the past, there’s been some some studies done on this effect. And Professor Ford has done this this test with 39 different people. And he passed out these personality tests and go, OK, after you fill out these personality test, give me a week.
I’m going to come up with 13 statements that will be true to you, uniquely to yours, your personality. So sure enough, the thirty nine students went in and filled up the personality test and it had it in it. A week later, you can give each one an individual envelope and each one has 13 statements in it. And after that test they go OK, out of a scale of one to one to five five being very agreed and very true.
How many of you believe that the that the personality statement that I wrote for you all all those 13 statements is true to you and and almost everybody put their hands. In fact, on average, there was a score of four point two, six out of five of how accurate that test was. And then they go well or how accurate those statements were of that person. And then the question was, out of a scale of one to five, how many believe that personality test has really been very effective on deciding who they are and what their characteristics are like?
And again, on average, there was a four point three, one out of five on how accurate that test actually was while at the professor, four actually took thirteen astrology statements at the of astrology prediction booth, at a newsstand and just gave the same one to every single person. So how does this work? Everybody agreed that those 13 statements actually was true to that. In fact, on average, ten, ten point two out of the thirteen statements they all said was true.
And that’s again, because it’s vague, desirable qualities and it’s true to that. Now, when we talk about how big it is and how it has to be a desirable quality, because we generally like to gravitate to something that was said about us that’s either neutral or positive thing about this statement. If I said to you, you are a bad listener, which leads to people avoiding you during times of decision making. Now, would you say that’s true to you?
Probably not, because that’s a negative connotation, a negative statement. But what if I said you are an independent thinker that follows their own path, which makes you misunderstood by others? Well, now it sounds like you’re a leader, but technically, if you look at those two statements at the same time, they’re exactly the same thing. So how the bottom works is they pick negative statements or generalized statements and make it positive, put a positive spin spin to it so that it relates to everybody.
So how do we how do we avoid falling into this trap? Because lots of people will go to the horoscope or go look at their astrology sign and go, you know what? What if this is true that I might make this big decision on buying a property or I might make this big decision about hiring a consultant or jumping into this investment strategy? Because my horoscope says it’s going to be good or maybe I need to jump into this relationship because my horoscope says that it’s good.
While the thing is we can’t take these generalized statements and these horoscope take statements or despite the fact and make big decisions on it. So how do we avoid what we sometimes we just have to take a step back and ask ourselves, take the personality out of it. If this statement was repeated to multiple people when multiple people think about the same thing. So sometimes you may have to think about this on a split second or on the spot, but just remove your personality out of it and say, hey, does this apply?
Anybody else or does that apply just to me, if you’re able to do that, then you’re able to make a better decision. Now, the thing is, once you separate yourself from it, you can see it from a different perspective and see how the bottom effect is actually in play. So that’s how the bottom effect works and that’s how we can avoid doing it. Now, how do we take this into into a benefit for us? Well, as entrepreneurs, as business people and and people who want to build relationships and get engagement with the audience, if you use the part of the fact you can get more people to relate to you, you can get more people to be more engaged into your presentation.
If you are able to use these statements from a generalization standpoint and get people to be more engaged and more relatable to you so that your message could get across and that is a benefit to you by using this effect. But in general, this should be avoided at all costs if you’re about to make a big decision. So that is the Barnum Effect!
Until next time, today is the day to unlock your potential. I’ll see You later.
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